Legislative Update May 27

Week of May 27th – May 31st

BILL: HB 669, Relative to Gender Identity Information on Drivers’ Licenses and Non-Driver IDs

STATUS: The House concurred with the Senate amendment to HB 669, the bill to allow an “x” as a gender designation on drivers’ licenses and non-driver IDs. The bill will spend the next few days in a technical process called enrollment, and after that, it will go to the Governor.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. The bill would allow a gender notation of M, F, or X (meaning non-binary or “other”) on drivers’ licenses and state-issued non-driver IDs. It makes no sense to allow a subjective feeling to determine the data appearing on such documents. Read Cornerstone’s testimony on HB 669. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Time to call the Governor (603-271-2121) Urge him to veto HB 669 and not to be swayed by appeals to “compassion” for people who identify as neither male nor female. The information on a driver’s license has never before been dictated by feelings.

Senate Session Thursday, May 30
at 10:00 a.m.

BILL: HB 481, Legalizing and Regulating Recreational Marijuana
STATUS:  The full Senate will vote on the committee’s recommendation to re-refer HB 481 at their May 30th session.

To re-refer this bill back to the committee would be very good news – stopping HB 481 from becoming law this year. If the motion to re-refer is approved by the full Senate, the next action on HB 481 will come early next year. This victory is due in no small part to the overwhelming support we have gotten against HB 481!

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED to the bill, thus in support of the re-refer motion. Enabling widespread use of recreational marijuana PRIVATIZES THE GAINS AND SOCIALIZES THE LOSSES of marijuana commercializationHB 481 is wrong for New Hampshire.  

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your senator and urge support for the committee recommendation of re-referral to committee.

BILL: HB 480, Sports Betting

STATUS: This bill already passed the Senate once, but is having a second vote for procedural reasons after a review from the Finance CommitteeIt will be on the Senate agenda May 30.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. HB 480 would expand legal gambling, in a manner that makes the state rely on gambling addiction in order to make sports betting a reliable state revenue source. Read Cornerstone’s op-ed, “Gambling With Our People.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Ask your senator to overturn the committee recommendation of ought to pass, and instead vote “inexpedient to legislate.”

Committee Hearings and Votes:
Your Voice Is Needed!

BILL: HB 608 Expanding the Law Against Discrimination Based on Gender Identity 

WHEN: Senate Judiciary will meet on Tuesday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. in Rm 100 of the State House for executive session on all pending legislation. We expect HB 608 to come up.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. What seems like a harmless housekeeping bill is a lot more insidious, a way to punish those who don’t get on board with LGBTQ policies. Read about the unintended consequences here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The bill’s supporters have left important questions unanswered. Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote “inexpedient to legislate”. No public testimony will be taken at the executive session, so contacting committee members ahead of time is important.

BILL: SB 263 Relative to Anti-Discrimination for Students in Public Schools

STATUS:  The House Judiciary Committee will vote at 10:00am Tuesday, May 28 in Legislative Office Building, Rm. 208. This is the second House committee (after Education) to consider the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED and we encourage the committee to examine the bill more closely. No one wants invidious discrimination in schools. As the bill is currently written, however, it poses more questions than solutions. See “Gender Politics Goes to School,” Cornerstone’s most recent commentary on the bill. 

  • The bill includes “gender identity” as a protected class under anti-discrimination policy. There’s no age limit on that. If a school employee were to address a six-year-old by a pronoun consistent with the child’s biological sex and not with the child’s adopted “gender identity,” SB 263 would open the door to lawsuits. Do we want a state law that forces the courts to become “pronoun police”?
  • The bill only applies to discrimination by schools, not individual students. A student being bullied by a fellow student because of gender identity, religion, or any other reason mentioned in anti-discrimination law would not be protected by SB 263.
  • Any student who is denied the opportunity to play on the sports team of his/her choice on the grounds of being transgender (i.e. a male identifying as female being denied a place on a women’s sports team) would be able to sue the school and school district under SB 263. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  In view of the unanswered questions raised by the bill, particularly regarding school sports, urge the committee to vote “inexpedient to legislate.” No public testimony will be taken at the executive session, so contacting committee members ahead of time is important.

BILL: SB 41 Relative to Historical Racing

WHEN: House Ways and Means will vote on SB 41, historic racing on Tuesday, May 28 at 10 a.m., Legislative Office Building, Rm. 202.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED This is a calculated business endeavor premised on extracting profits from addicted gamblers. This is neither a healthy nor ethical way to collect revenue for the state. Read our position here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Urge the committee to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on SB 41. No public testimony will be taken at the executive session, so contacting committee members ahead of time is important.

BILL: HB 446, Initiating Amendments and Corrections to Birth Certificates

STATUS: The Senate voted on Wednesday May 15th “ought to pass with amendment” on voice vote. The amendment does not address our concerns. The House will not meet again until June 5, so HB 446 is on hold until then. The House will probably decide at that session whether to concur with the Senate amendment.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. HB 446 will allow birth certificates to be amended to reflect a person’s adopted “gender identity,” whether male, female, or “neither male nor female.” Vital records are meant to record facts, not feelings. For more information including the text of the amendment the Senate adopted, see the blog post on the Cornerstone website

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Now is the time to contact your representative and urge them to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on HB 446.

Update on Recent Legislative Action

Bills we have been following, that are now on to the next steps. Your voice still needed and still matters! 

BILL: SB 196 Relative to Non-Academic Surveys Administered by a Public School to its Students

STATUS: The House has voted “ought to pass with amendment,” 218-150. The bill will now go to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendment. The House amendment does not change the substance of the bill.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. SB 196 would roll back a 2017 law protecting student privacy and parental rights. Instead of giving parents the right to “opt-in” before a non-academic survey is administered to their children in school, it would switch to an “opt-out” policy – meaning that if a parent doesn’t actively say NO, the school will administer the survey to the student. Read more here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Watch Cornerstone’s legislative update next week for more information.